Un visa pour Paris

The exhibition shows black-and-white photographs by the renowned photographers Sibylle Bergemann and Ute Mahler taken between the 1970s and 1990s. Both were – independently of each other – able to travel to Paris for the first time at the end of the 1970s on a visa. Each captured life in the “metropolis of longing” in her own special way. In this juxtaposition, the photographs of the OSTKREUZ founders enter into a dialogue with each other.

In addition, previously unpublished photographs by Harald Hauswald, Ute Mahler and Maurice Weiss provide insights into the multidisciplinary program during the spectacular GDR art exhibition “L’Autre Allemagne hors les murs / The Other Germany Outside the Walls. The exhibition was shown at the beginning of 1990 in the Parisian “La Villette” and presented the work of 200 invited GDR artists. They were all allowed to travel to Paris on a visa for setting up and opening the show. The OSTKREUZ photographers were among the exhibiting artists and accompanied the event.
The documentary film “La Villette” by Gerd Kroske (DEFA, 1990) complements the exhibition presentation.

Guestbook entries

“Paris from in another time, but the dancers, visual artists & musicians were incredibly ahead of their time! The exhibition 1990 in Paris – a discovery. Please gather and exhibit again today!”

“What a great exhibition. Merci beaucoup! And what a fantastic experience for the artists back then. Through the photos you can empathize and experience. Goosebumps!”

“Grateful for the captured impressions from this impressive and memorable time! Wonderful.”

“Maybe this great, interesting exhibition can go on tour through the other Institut Français locations, making it accessible to even more viewers?”

Installation views

Sibylle Bergemann, Paris

La Villette

Sibylle Bergemann, Vitrine

Sibylle Bergemann, Paris

Ute Mahler, Vitrine

Ute Mahler, Paris

La Villette



5 projects
86 pictures
1 projection
2 display cabinets
varying formats and forms of presentation


Conceived by OSTKREUZ for the Institut Français on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the twinning of Paris and Berlin in 2022.

Exhibition history

Institut Français, Berlin, June 30th–September 17th, 2022

Kathrin Kohle
Exhibition Management